Chanting Hare Krishna yields best results when performed in the early hours of the day. The wee hours of morning fill the atmosphere with sattva, the energy of ‘goodness’. You would notice most spiritualists perform their major practises just as the sun arrives on the eastern horizon. While the rest of the world is in deep slumber, a spiritualist is alert to catch these vibrations of ‘sattva’. It is during this period that in traditional Vedic temples, the conventional Bhakti Yoga centres, one greets God with devotional songs rendered in melodious meters, called kirtans. The tradition has it that the hour before sunrise is God’s time of waking up and reciprocating with the heartfelt prayers of His devotees. A serious Bhakti Yoga practitioner rises early and chants Hare Krishna to catch God’s attention, to grab the grace that flows abundantly at this time.
Of course God is merciful at all times of the day. However it’s the early hours of the day that is relatively peaceful and free of the fast paced passion that characterizes our usual waking hours. Radhanath Swami gives an example that a businessman may be intelligent and industrious to earn good money at any time of the year. However it’s the Christmas vacations or other religious festivals in many societies that offer him lucrative opportunities that aren’t usually available the rest of the year. People are on a spending spree and alert businessperson is quick to grab the chance. Similarly a sincere practitioner of Hare Krishna meditation can access God’s mercy at any time of the day. However the early hours are an opportunist’s delight as he can tap the rich positive vibrations permeating the ether.
The nature is characterized by three energies- ‘goodness’, ‘passion’ and ‘ignorance’. ‘Goodness’ which strongly prevails in early morning makes it easy for a practitioner to calm his mind and bring it into a peaceful state of existence. As the day’s activities occupy our minds, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid the pulling of mind which demands our attention to various pressing tasks to be accomplished. As the sun sets, ‘ignorance’ sets in and traditionally that’s the time human beings rest. An attempt to perform serious spiritual practises after sunset becomes challenging because the mind would be tired by the day’s rigorous exertions. To make a concerted effort at meditation becomes more challenging as the night advances.
What if I am used to getting up well after nine in the morning? Do I have any hope of reaping spiritual benefits that accrue by early morning performance of the Bhakti Yoga?
Bhakti Yoga is a gradual and steady process of transformation and cultivation of positive desirable habits. One could begin waking up at 8.30 in the morning. After a week of strict adherence to this half hour improvement, one could then begin to rise at 8.00 am. This way slowly by half hour progression one can eventually rise just before sunrise. Try this programme of early morning spiritual practises for three months and see the difference it makes to your consciousness. The proof of the pudding is in eating…